PORTSMOUTH HARBOUR BOMB ALERT: Residents tell of evacuation

An illustration of how the Sinah Lane development could look if a planning pplication is passed. Picture: Barratt Homes

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RESIDENTS have told how they were evacuated from shops and public areas as Portsmouth was today rocked by a wartime bomb drama.

People have been ordered to leave areas of Old Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays and wait in two designated ‘rest centres’ set up at The John Pounds Centre and St Thomas’ Catholic Cathedral.

Refreshments are being laid on free of charge by Portsmouth City Council at the John Pounds premises - where bosses have said they’re prepared to accommodate people ‘all night’ if needs be after an unexploded Second World War bomb was found in Portsmouth Harbour.

Pamela Pratt, of Cosham, who was with her sister Margaret Mundy, said: ‘We were having a steak dinner in The Ship Anson and had to leave half of it.

‘We were just having a day out. The police were down there, and the landlady said we had to evacuate. It was just like the wartime. When we got outside I said; ‘We’ve done this before, when we were younger.”

Jill Noble and a friend were on a bus en route to their ferry back to the Isle of Wight when it was halted by police.

She said: ‘The bus was turned around and we were told we had to be evacuated. We were then told to come back to this centre.’

Tesco Gunwharf workers were also told to get out.

One employee said: ‘There were people shouting “we’ve got to be evacuated”. It was quite scary.’

Around 40 people were waiting in the centre when The News arrived. News reporters were then ordered to leave by council officials who said the press were barred from entering.